Don Barrie

Photorealistic Painter and Muralist

"Roycroft Front" 1973

Acrylic on canvas, titled: "Roycroft Front" "New realism" style, painted in flat soft colors, green, ochre, gray, and brown without texture. Photographic-like presentation of the 19th. and Roy Streets area of Seattle, store fronts, etc., with sidewalk going off the picture on the right side. Image extends around edges to the back side.

From Barrie's 1975 Whatcom Museum exhibition artist's statement:

"Izzy is gone. He died with the Leland Hotel when I was completing this, the Market Series, during 1972 and 1973. At that time, the [Pike Place] Public Market itself was being threatened with death from urban planners. While the planners defended themselves in the press and public hearings, I wanted to catch the feelings of the people working and moving in the Market before it was gone. The people of the Market went about their work just as they had for years before, and as I spend my days among the shopkeepers, the completeness of Market life began to show itself in my work. The Market, with its population at once complex and pure, gave me a sense of the seeing through realities. Technically, the paintings in this series reflect a way of seeing. I often find myself so involved in what I think I am supposed to be involved in, I find myself looking at symbols of reality, the images, instead of seeing the clarity of reality itself. Sometimes one loses track of which is more real. Through the leadership of people such as architect Victor Steinbruck, the Market is still alive in Seattle, clutching to its urban turf at 1st and Pine. It is a vital touchstone for those of us preferring the close contacts and friendships of the Market people in a world rapidly becoming one large modern supermarket, losing the unique flavor of the people who sold with pride what they've produced with their own hands. The Leland Hotel is no more, eased out of reality with Izzy."


"City in the Sky" 1977

Located at the Pelican Bay Artists’ Building, 606 19th Ave. East, Capitol Hill, Seattle. “City in the Sky” is based on a Hopi Indian Myth. The Hopi Indians believed in star constellations and believed in ancient maps that had been drawn as a guide to the spiritual world. The Hopi believed that they existed at the center of the earth or Turtle Island. That beyond Turtle Island was the sky and that beyond the sky were dimensional portals. Beyond the dimensional portals was an area called the Ocean of Pitch, were the beauty of the night sky and the galaxies spun out towards them. Beyond that were the boundaries of the universe. And set along the rim at the boundaries of the universe were where their gods resided. The basic concept for the “City in the Sky” mural included vast landscapes, oceans and plains with artists living in self -contained portals flying high above the world.

"City in the Sky" is Seattle's first 3-D mural. The mural was a collaboration between artists Don Miles and Don Barrie. It's 3-D sculpting was done by Don Miles (creator of the Milestone Process) and the concept and painting was done by Don Barrie. The mural took two years to complete. 1975-1977.


"Midnight Call"

An old photograph provided the specifics for this scene of a horse-drawn fire rig leaving the Junction Station at 44th Ave SW and SW Alaska St. Also housed in the station was a police precinct and public restrooms. Motorized fire engines replaced Hose Company #32 in 1924 and provided fire protection until moving to 38th and Alaska in 1964. After remaining vacant for a few years, the station was razed in 1968 and remains a free parking lot for Junction shoppers.


Donald Barrie was born on July 1, 1938 in Juneau, Alaska. He got his BFA from the University of Washington in 1967 and his MFA in 1973. He worked in Seattle as an artist and illustrator and while there, he founded the Pelican Bay Artists' Cooperative and the Artists' and the Craftpeople's Guild. His art has been exhibited at the Frye Art Museum, the Spokane Art Gallery, the Bellevue Arts and Crafts Fair and the Old National Bank of Washington. His art is in many private and public collections, including the Seattle Art Museum, the Northwest Museum of Arts and Culture and Spokane Art Museum. Don Barrie is currently on the faculty of Seattle Central Community College.


Descendent of:
Sir James Barrie
Born May 9, 1860, Kirriemuir, Angus, Scotland
Died June 19, 1937, London, England
Dramatist and novelist who is best known as the creator of Peter Pan, the boy who refused to grow up.